Ireland’s premier stage cycle race for women, An Post Rás na mBan, will once again be backed by the Irish Veteran Cyclists Association in 2013.

The five-day international race has enjoyed a long running association with the Irish Veteran Cyclists Association (IVCA), which continues to back cycling at all levels in addition to providing a popular programme of racing and leisure events for its growing membership.

For the second year in succession, the IVCA will back the prestigious Queen of the Mountains competition as riders fight it out for the honour of wearing the distinctive IVCA Queen of the Mountains jersey each day.

After five years in Kerry An Post Rás na mBan will move to a new base in County Clare for this year’s event which runs from September 11th to 15th.

The race will be based in Ennis in 2013 from where it will take in six stages in five days.

“We are delighted with the renewed and vital support from the IVCA which plays a key role in the continuation of an event that will mark 27 years of international women’s stage racing in Ireland,” says Race Director Valerie Considine.

Details of further commercial partnerships and route announcements will follow in the coming weeks and months.

Women in the IVCA

The growth in popularity of bike racing in Ireland over the past ten years is amply illustrated by the rise in numbers competing with the Irish Veteran Cyclists Association, and it is increasingly becoming an option considered by new women bike racers.

The IVCA’s extensive of programme of races is run to ‘ability standard’ at a time of day which best suits time crunched racers and has proved to be a winning formula over the years with scores of events run from spring through to autumn.

Women are welcome to race with the IVCA from their 35th year onwards so it will appeal to a large number of racers currently riding club events or just coming into the sport.

The races are very well organised on well established circuits so there are no surprises and it’s as safe an environment for road racing as anyone could ask for.

Riders are particularly drawn to the ability standard element of the racing programme which means they are always racing with riders of comparable ability. With six separate groups racing in each road race, riders are put in with those that will draw the best out of them without getting left behind at the start. Most riders are very experienced so the safety of each of the groups is of a very high standard.

Women racers have long availed of the IVCA’s programme of racing and their growing number suggests even more participation by women in the association’s activities. For women with families the ‘Vets’ races are particularly attractive because most Sunday events start just after 9.00am so competitors can be back by lunchtime with minimal disruption to home life.

There’s a nice relaxed social element to the racing, though it’s extremely hard fought out the road in a perfect environment to develop as a road racer or time trial rider.

It’s not all about racing, of course. The IVCA also has a full Leisure League programme running throughout the year and is currently accepting membership applications for the 2013 season

For more information, please visit the IVCA website.